While I let some topical themes marinate, here are some quick thoughts and links to other posts I find interesting:
1) Tulane grad and conservative new media innovator Andrew Breitbart died suddenly last week. Lamar White at Cenlamar was the last person to tweet to him, and recounts their conversation in a post titled “Proudly, A Putz.” This week, one of Breitbart’s sites unveiled a video of Barack Obama speaking at a rally at Harvard. It was touted by the right as proof of Obama’s supposed radicalism, but comes off as the smallest of beers. The only thing it confirms is that Breitbart was more of a guerrilla performer and grand-stander than an ideologue. A provocateur at heart, who enjoyed the game of political combat, rather than the substance behind it.
2) I’m repulsed by reports that New Orleans Saints players put “bounties” on their opponents. Especially repulsive: the additional financial bonuses to not only knock players out of the game, but to have them “carted off” the field for medical treatment. However, I still don’t understand how $1,500 is enough incentive for a player to risk making an illegal hit that would likely result in a fine from the NFL of $10,000-plus, not to mention a possible game suspension that might cost them hundreds of thousands in salary.
Saints apologists say, “Well, every team does it,” which, as rebuttals go, doesn’t much impress me. But the prevalence of the bounty system interests me far less than why the bounties are so low. Was it some sort of motivational tactic? A team bonding sort of thing around bragging rights? Given the potential fines and risks, I can’t imagine $1,500 being enough incentive for a player to change the way he plays the game.
Here’s an odd analogy. Say you’re driving to the Uptown Carnival parades and can’t find a place to park your car. Your friend offers you two bucks if you’ll park in an illegal spot near the route, is that enough of an incentive (against the risk of a likely ticket) to make you do it? Doubtful.
My go-to source for Saints perspective is Grandmaster Wang at the Moose Denied blog. Highly recommended.